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Lanternfly is next door; invasive insect colony found in Lycoming County

Jay Bagley, a supervisor with the state bureau of plant industry, informed the Old Lycoming Township board of supervisors that a spotted lanternfly colony has been discovered in Old Lycoming Township.

Spotted lanternflies are an invasive species of insect that, without natural competitors, have spread throughout several east coast states. Government agencies are concerned about the spotted lanternfly’s impact on agricultural industries, such as logging, fruit-bearing trees and more, because they tend to damage and kill plant life and trees.

According to economists at Penn State University, the spotted lanternfly could drain Pennsylvania’s economy of at least $324 million annually if not contained.

This is why the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has requested residents to report spotted lanternfly sightings at services.agriculture.pa.gov/SLFReport/, or by phone at 1-888-4BADFLY. Additionally, the Department of Agriculture encourages area residents to destroy spotted lanternflies and scrape their egg masses into sealed plastic baggies with rubbing alcohol.

The Department of Agriculture provided the following description of spotted lanternflies: “The spotted lanternfly adult is approximately 1 inch long and half an inch wide at rest. The forewing is grey with black spots, and the wings tips are reticulated black blocks outlined in grey. The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band. The legs and head are black; the abdomen is yellow with broad black bands. Immature stages are black with white spots, and develop red patches as they grow.”

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